This is correct. There are two ways to acquire money: provide value for value in mutual exchange, or theft. Bullsh** jobs are a result of theft. A transfer of wealth from savers to debtors, enabled by the Federal Reserve.^ Here's a theory we've beat about here plenty: The American dream includes a college degree, a "good" job, and a house in the suburbs. The first step is a degree. By now, that has diluted to "any degree," no matter how useless and void of critical requirements. Now we have 23 yo's graduating with their college degree in mostly useless fields, so what to do with them? They can't all get into law school, which at least requires semi-rigorous screening. So they have punched their ticket but are not truly skillful. These are the college educated frustrated. A large number of "qualified, but frustrated" young people is a recipe for societal trouble.
The fed knows this exists, so they pump money into the system, require DEI type hiring practices, and megacorp has to meet these goals in order to get access to capital/loans. These hires are the same people most likely to be compliant with PC requirements in the workplace, so megacorp wins and the young Native Studies grad wins. You get the cubicle next to this person and do all the real work.
Modern megacorp must pay their truly valuable people a whole lot. The trouble for them is discerning who is useful versus the dead weight. The strong horses know they are strong and will leave if underpaid. Even excellent producers are vulnerable, as they may be working in a department that is generally low value.Let me tell you the work I do is very important. I think that some jobs are made up and unimportant, but for me... I will not say how much I am compensated because many would be jealous, but real numbers, big numbers like these you have to provide value!
Fidem, good questions (and concerns) on moving to management. I’ve been on the management side from day 1 (went from military officer to maintenance manager in civilian world) but I’ve always had a solid core of principles that often puts me at odds with them. Still, my convictions are #1 - I will never turn into a reptile that wears a humanoid skinsuit even if it costs me promotions. I’ve been told the upper management sees me as “incorruptible”, which is actually keeping me from being involved in inner circle, something I don’t crave for the title or anything but solely to influence the strategy and because there’s a large void of not having technical inputs into decision making despite it being so obviously needed. Oh well.
I’m in same boat as you. Engineer background. But I don’t have the time you have practicing heavy engineering. So, much respect to you. If you do go into management, expect that the “high fliers” will amaze you with their lack of sound priciples. Choosing not to know to preserve plausible deniability vs getting the facts and taking ownership like in the engineering world, those sorts of things. There’s no appreciation for details, no accountability, etc like you’re now used to.
Honestly American leadership is garbage. The MBA has ruined companies, putting unqualified people in positions of power. I have one that I earned after the military, but I operate from my engineering undergrad / maintenance leadership hat and not the MBA. The finance people have been the worst gatekeepers in my experience, preferring to keep things close to vest but expecting you to be fully transparent with them. As long as they can receive credit for things, that’s all they’re really interested in, even if it reduces the odds of success because they refuse to involve people who can help out. It’s really pathetic.
Do you have children? I have a 2 and 3 year old. Once I observed them fighting over toys, throwing tantrums, being unreasonable, etc, everything I’ve seen behavior-wise in management started to make sense. The difference is, my daughters are well in their way to outgrowing these behaviors.
So should you do it? Depends if you want to make a difference from within but are prepared to be frustrated at times beyond belief. I’d say it’s for me but everyone is different
Thank you for your reply. This confirmed what I was thinking. Definitely not worth giving up my good, reliable job at the lowest "white-collar" level. My job security is rock solid here and while I deal with a decent amount of managerial stupidity, it is manageable for me since I can mostly ignore it. I recall my dad (he was a fairly high-level manager in the IT/banking world) telling me once how he wished he could just come to work each day, do his own job without worrying about anyone else, then simply be paid and go home. Something like being a barber, accountant, or anything professional along those lines where success was based on one's own work. Management took its toll on him. I often think he would have been much better off as a college professor, his original dream that he gave up after his first few promotions into management, feeling the responsibility to keep earning more and more money to support us, fund our college, etc.
Thanks again for your insight.
Is the concept of Bullsh!t Jobs new to anyone here? It’s a theory by David Graeber that almost half of societal jobs are meaningless. A lot of people working are effectively not providing anything of value. He breaks down these jobs into five or so categories such as task masters, goons and flunkies. The attached video explains it much better than I can.
I’m in a tech company where I’ve seen my team of 20-30 people, who all meaningfully contributed something and who self managed themselves, turn into a bloated, managerial, bureaucratic kafkaesque nightmare in 5 years. It’s literally the meme of the one guy in a hole digging with 10 people watching. Some of these people are the most Machiavellian, the most adherent to modern society dogma, the laziest, the most deluded etc., you could imagine.
I had some kind of mental crisis when I saw that someone had verbalized and synthesized this into a theory. I needed someone to talk to at work about it. That seemed a little risky, so I could only speak to my wife, but her industry was too different to understand, and she does not like to be too critical.
I became a little obsessed with the topic for a while. For me it went much deeper than hard workers and people who do little or no work. Structures and departments have been set up and whole industries built upon these Bullsh!t jobs. There are multi year degrees and diplomas for these jobs. It’s so insidious. But why is this happening, l don’t know, and I never got the cathartic release of confiding to a colleague.
I’m interested to hear others thoughts or anecdotes on the subject. I highly recommend the video as an intro.
Playing devil's advocate a bit with the last reply, I would say that as an individual contributor, your experience can deteriorate very quickly with you basically being at the whim of whoever has moved into the manager seat above you.
As a manager, at least you get to somewhat set the culture of your team, and you start to have a lot more leverage in terms of negotiating for work conditions. As far as management 'taking a toll' on your father, I could make the case that being at the whim of an incompetent manager 'took a toll' on me.
Regardless of which route you end up taking, the most important thing is to keep everything in the proper perspective, and realize that nothing at a job is getting stressed or worked up over, especially within a corporation that likely doesn't value you very much at the end of the day. Just do a good job that reflects well on your Christian character, and then move on to focus on your family and spiritual life.
Stay in your engineering spot where you are a rock star and extremely valuable. Make sure you are in the top tier amongst of your peers though and you'll always be kept around as you are the backbone of the companies quality and productivity. If a narricist psychopath moves into a management spot above you, just stay out of his/her cross-hairs but play hardball with them and don't let them exploit you (i.e. dump alot of work on you without guaranteed extra compensation), that is how toxic management exploits staff, to pocket any trickle down earnings/bonuses into their own pockets on the backs of their staff. Make sure you have allies in other parts of management, so if your jerk manager is trying to push you out of of the company (either feels insecure or feels you are a threat to them, or they feel you are overpaid), then you can always go to some of the other higher-ups that will protect you.Fully agree with your last paragraph.
Not sure how I can escape being at the whim of a superior simply by moving into management. There is always another manager above you, unless you start your own company. At the company where I work, management seems to get much worse (effeminate, ineffective, openly gay, detached from reality, etc.) the higher up you go in the ranks. At the lowest level of management, directly managing individual workers like me, it seems like basic values like logic and sense are preserved more due to the necessity of completing actual tasks.
The only thing I can think of is show up to meetings on time and respond to requests from coworkers and especially supervisors quickly and cheerfully, if you're not doing that already. For example, if you have to fill out annoying weekly reports bullet pointing your main tasks for the week, do it every week, do it well, and turn it in on time. Try to be one of the first to turn it in and never force your supervisors to have to follow up with you and remind you about things like this. Basically, establish a reputation for being reliable and easy to work with, especially among leadership because they are the people who decide whether or not to keep you.So here is my question: I'm in a small company and I have the feeling that a new CEO they brought in feels I'm overpaid in relation to the abilities that other people he could bring in to do my job in a comparable manner for 50% salary of what I'm making. I was brought in at a high level, for my 30 years experience in the industry, and my clients seem quite satisfied and I have good relations with all of the internal staff of the company as well. I love this company, best work environment I've ever been in regarding combination of pay, benefits, they honor my workload requests, remote work, bonuses are stellar etc. everything is wonderful, except this new guy in charge seems to want to turn over some staff strictly from a short-term bottom line cash grab. He bounces around from company to company and i know people whom worked with him in the past and said this behaviour is his pattern. So the question is if you have a bullseye on your back strictly due to high salary how do you survive this situation? I would love the stay in this gig/company as long as possible. I think if I had to look for another job with my skills and experience it would probably entail both a paycut (20-50%), worse off benefits, longer more stressful working hours, and 50/50 likelihood for remote work. Not something I'm going to chase after unless its last resort.
So here is my question: I'm in a small company and I have the feeling that a new CEO they brought in feels I'm overpaid in relation to the abilities that other people he could bring in to do my job in a comparable manner for 50% salary of what I'm making. I was brought in at a high level, for my 30 years experience in the industry, and my clients seem quite satisfied and I have good relations with all of the internal staff of the company as well. I love this company, best work environment I've ever been in regarding combination of pay, benefits, they honor my workload requests, remote work, bonuses are stellar etc. everything is wonderful, except this new guy in charge seems to want to turn over some staff strictly from a short-term bottom line cash grab. He bounces around from company to company and i know people whom worked with him in the past and said this behaviour is his pattern. So the question is if you have a bullseye on your back strictly due to high salary how do you survive this situation? I would love the stay in this gig/company as long as possible. I think if I had to look for another job with my skills and experience it would probably entail both a paycut (20-50%), worse off benefits, longer more stressful working hours, and 50/50 likelihood for remote work. Not something I'm going to chase after unless its last resort.
Sounds like you currently have a lot of free time/not really working full time if you are looking to “create work” to keep the crosshairs off of you. Not sure what line of industry you are in but if your business is expanding (legit sales volume, clients, service demand increases etc), then offer to take on more work to improve the companies margins while you are just moving closer to a 40 hr work week doing legit work and not through the creation of fake work. If you company is flat or downsizing business volume then you should be updating your resume or working to expand into other areas of expertise within the company to fill out your work day to survive.Buddy, I'm in a similar boat as you. My client has just replaced their manager with another one and I'm not sure what to expect from the new guy. This BTW is the person I deal with regularly while his boss usually gets CC'd on certain emails.
Anyway, the last guy was super hands-off. I could've been lying on a beach in Tahiti and either he wouldn't have realized it or wouldn't have cared.
The new guy resembles the last guy in that he appears to be a young, cool Millineal. However, he seems much more involved than the last manager, busy trying to make a good impression for his boss. I just hope he doesn't have access to my billing, as they are paying me quite well right now and don't seem to expect a lot in return. In fact, I'm actually trying to create more work for myself now just so I can justify my pay if it ever comes up. I'm also brushing up on my 48 Laws Of Power.
Maybe I'm paranoid because I worked at a place years ago where my department manager's boss was replaced with another guy. This new guy came in and set up a call with me as a check-in to see what exactly my job was, etc. On the call, he asked me about my boss and what I thought of him. I said only good things of course. He said he just wanted to say hello and touch base and then ended the call. The next day, I got a call from Human Resources who fired me because they were sunsetting the position. He was too much of a coward to do it himself so he had some broad in HR do it for him. Apparently, he just wanted to clean house and cut payroll.
So now I'm always worried when there's a change in the person I deal with on a daily basis because I keep flashing back to that old job.